Latest figures from the "Giving USA 2016" report trumpet that giving rose again in 2015 to more than 2% of GDP. In the UK CAF reports that it is around 0.6% or less than a third of what generous folk in the states are persuaded to donate. Similarly Individual giving is around $1,000 per head for the adult population whilst CAF reckon in the UK it is closer to £300 or again around a third of of what Americans give. That is, cultural, demographic and social characteristics apart, a huge difference in anybody's book.
According to the Guardian, the UK is still the sixth richest country on Earth and CAF reckon we're the fourth most generous. So why do more Americans give, apparently, so much more to charity? We know that religiosity plays a part and that Alumni fundraising is so much better developed than in the UK but let's look at the figures more closely.
Whereas the rich giving up to 3% of their income in the states, here it is under 1% whilst, perversely, the poorest 10% in the UK do give more than 2% of their income and in the states the comparable figure is closer 1%. So is it all the fault of the mean, uber rich Banksters et al? It's a worrying thought isn't it? The richer we get (in the UK) the meaner we get (proportionately) whilst the reverse appears true in the US of A.Perhaps we need to reflect harder on this disparity. Certainly it backs up what Frances Beckett says, in his book, "what have the Baby Boomers ever done for us?" He goes on to ask where are the British Bill Gates' and Warren Buffets? And certainly, even looking at Beth Breeze's £1m donors, we seem to be coming up short in Blighty.
Meanwhile we are increasingly concerned with hauling up the gangplank, casting adrift from mainland Europe, ignoring everyone else and making our own way in the world. I missing something here?